Eighteen youths available for adoption recently took part in a fashion-show matching event, sponsored by Diakon Adoption & Foster Care.
The event was held in the Henry Auditorium at The Lutheran Home at Topton, where a Diakon Adoption & Foster Care office is located.
“There are currently 2,500 children and youths in Pennsylvania waiting to be adopted—to have a family to call their own,” says Melanie Rehrig, permanency services supervisor at the Topton office. “The youths in the show were older, 10 and up. They have been waiting the longest and are the most in need so, as part of our Older Child Matching Initiative, we develop events such as this fashion show specifically to highlight them. Through such events, they can meet families and interact with them, and the families get to learn more about the youths.”
The emphasis of the event is to show how special each youth is and allow the youths to be the “stars of the show.” Each youth receives funds with which to purchase two outfits for the event—and keep. Family-youth matches have been made through such events, adds Rehrig, “which is the most important aspect of this fun event.”
Earlier in the day of the matching event, a filmmaker associated with the French television network Canal TV documented resource-parent training provided by Diakon Adoption & Foster Care to prospective adoptive and foster families.
Nathalie Gros of the CAPA TV production company, interviewed Cathy Balliet of Diakon Adoption & Foster Care, who helped to conduct the training.
The 10-minute news item will be shown on “a current-affairs program called L’Effet Papillon (which means The Butterfly Effect, a bit similar to Frontline in the U.S.),” says Yves Schaeffner, a New York City-based associate of the network. Issues with adoptive placements in Europe prompted the report.
“We are ... [producing] a report about the issue of re-adoption (or re-homing),” indicates Schaeffner. “The starting point of our report is a recent investigation by Reuters [in Europe], but we would like to show that certain groups and organizations like [Diakon] are trying to prepare parents who want to adopt children to make sure that the adoption goes well.”